PM confirms ‘ambitious’ plans for two nuclear reactors on Anglesey
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed the UK Government’s commitment to building a new nuclear power station on Anglesey following reports that a deal had stalled.
Anglesey was confirmed as the favoured location for a new nuclear power plant among UK Government ministers earlier this month.
Two American companies, Westinghouse and Bechtel, were revealed to be involved in developing the scheme, which could see two reactors constructed on the site of the decommissioned Wylfa Newydd site, but despite talks involving Welsh Secretary Simon Hart taking place during a recent trip to America, no agreement has yet been confirmed.
Speaking during a trip to Wales to rally support for Conservative candidates in next month’s local elections, Mr Johnson said, “we want to make sure we get the right deal for the UK taxpayer.
“But we also want to have something that’s really ambitious, and that is going to do justice to the scale of that Wylfa site.”
He added there would be a” couple of reactors” there, and the government is “now working on all this very, very fast.
“We want to get going on Wylfa in the next couple of years.
“It’s going to happen”, he added.
The new power plant would increase the UK’s energy capacity by 2.3 gigawatts and would be backed by the UK Government’s Future Nuclear Enabling Fund.
Tom Greatrex, Chief Executive of the UK Nuclear Industry Association told City AM: “Wylfa is one of the best sites for new nuclear in the UK, with the potential to be a low carbon powerhouse. It is very encouraging to see it at the front of the government’s thinking for development as we seek to strengthen our energy security, wean ourselves off imported gas and guarantee a secure, sovereign supply of electricity.
“It is important now that the government builds on the leadership it showed in its energy security strategy by removing the barriers to getting nuclear projects off the ground.”
The UK Government published its new energy strategy on 7 April and as part of that announced the creation of a new body, Great British Nuclear, will be launched to bolster the UK’s nuclear capacity with the hope of up to 24 gigawatts (GW) of electricity by 2050 coming from the source of power, 25% of the projected electricity demand.
The UK Government hopes the focus on nuclear will deliver up to eight reactors, equivalent to one reactor a year instead of one a decade.
Another Welsh site, Trawsfynydd, has also been identified as a potential location for one of the small modular reactors being developed by Rolls Royce but construction there is not expected to get under way for several years.
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